Monday, 29 April 2013

There is always more going on than you could possibly imagine.

I read somewhere this week that electrons do not move in a regular orbit around a nucleus as I'd always thought. (Yet more proof that GCSE Physics is a complete waste of time.) Rather, they move from one place to another without actually travelling the distance in between.

That's right, they teleport. And we thought it wasn't possible.

It wasn't a science text book that told me this, so I can't vouch for its validity (I am now reading a book on quantum mechanics in an effort to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge), but even so, it's an interesting thought.

I realise by beginning my post with this information, I've risked losing a number of readers who don't like science (or those who do, and therefore will scoff at my primitive understanding of quantum mechanics) but, it's important because it shows there is always more going on than we could possibly imagine.

I sat in a classical concert last week and considered the vibrations of the air, carrying the sound to my ears, keeping the exact pitch and rhythm the musicians intended. I felt a little dizzy, in fact, as I tried to decide whether air was a better conductor of sound than the strings themselves.

The music was glorious but, even then, there was still so much more going on.

Often we might feel despondent: working a mundane job, or checking sales figures that don't quite match what we'd hoped, or looking at a room full of people at a wedding and believing they're all happy and we're the only ones who aren't.

But, I guarantee, there is more going on than you think. Those people might be putting off going home to an abusive partner, or one of the sales we have made could have gone to a young man who may have committed suicide if it wasn't for your inspirational book. And that job could be providing you with just the experience you need for your perfect job in five years time.

And, even if none of that is true, there are billions of electrons in your body, jumping around, teleporting back and forth (depending on whether they're being observed, apparently), without which you could not 'be'.

So don't despair, you are a marvel. And you never know what might be going on behind the scenes.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Finding good role models: thoughts from a train following a best friend's wedding.

I had the privilege of witnessing one of my longest-serving, and best, friends get married yesterday. I sat in the reception and listened to various people comment on the excellent qualities of my friend, knowing that it was an accurate representation of this man I've known for my whole life.

As I sat there I couldn't help wondering what people might say about me should I get married again. And I felt a sense of shame: I doubt my references would be as glowing. At least, not if they were to be accurate.

'When I look at myself I don't see the man I wanted to be; somewhere down the line I slipped off track. One step up and two steps back.' - Bruce Springsteen, 'One Step Up'

But the man I saw yesterday, my friend, is still very much in my life, and we both expressed a strong desire to try and recapture some of the closeness that, as so often seems to happen as life goes on, has somehow been lost, just through the passage of time and that all-powerful force: 'stuff'.

In my friend I see a true 'man', and an excellent role model. Someone who I want to emulate, not necessarily in outward accomplishments or actions, but in strength of character, in loyalty of friendship, and in a personification of love. And I don't apologise for sounding overly sentimental.

Congratulations, mate. May your marriage be life-long and full of joy. I'm glad I have the opportunity to continue to be friends with, and learn from, you.